A pair of nine year-old twins who were collected from their school by their elder brother met a horrific death at his hands just a couple of hours later.

Police cordoned off the family's road and the area of the suicide

Police cordoned off the family’s road and the area of the suicide

After Jonathan O’Driscoll, 20, murdered his half-brothers, Patrick and Thomas O’Driscoll, and then fled the scene, leaving their bodies to be discovered by their two little brothers aged three and five.

After the children discovered their brothers’ bodies, they fled the house, screaming for help through a neighbour’s hedge. The alarm was raised and the emergency services raced to the scene, discovering the bodies, still in their school uniforms and in separate bedrooms. An air ambulance was scrambled, but later stood down when it became apparent the twins were already dead with no possibility of revival.

The body of Jonathan O’Driscoll was discovered an hour later by children in Buttevant; he had hanged himself from a tree by a riverbank 15 kilometres away from the scene of the brutal murders in Charleville, County Cork.

The children’s parents, Tom and Ellen O’Driscoll, were out shopping in Kilmallock in Limerick at the time, not far from their home. Sources close to the family claimed that Jonathan was adopted several years before the twins were born.

Jonathan O'Driscoll later hanged himself

Jonathan O’Driscoll later hanged himself

The police issued a statement about the murders last night: “Officers in Charleville, Co Cork are investigating all the circumstances following the discovery of the bodies of two young boys in a house in Deerpark, Charleville shortly before 5pm on September 4.

“They were pronounced dead at the scene. The bodies remain at the scene and the area has been sealed off for technical examination, diversions are in place. The office of the State Pathologist has been notified and post mortems are expected to be carried out.”

A “security source” told the Irish Mirror: “It was a frenzied attack, the boys were stabbed multiple times. It’s understood there are psychological issues involved.”

Patrick and Thomas O'Driscoll were nine years old

Patrick and Thomas O’Driscoll were nine years old

A local priest, Father Tom Naughton, told reporters that the incident had rocked the close-knit community: “I am shocked, I know the family myself. I have prayed with the family before. Obviously any family who would have experienced a tragedy of this nature would be devastated. This it is deeply upsetting for any community, especially for one as close-knit as we are. We will offer our support to them, the whole community will be behind them at this very difficult time.”